Seven tips for creating the perfect holiday dining experience

Dec 6, 2016 by Angela Orecchio

When guests sit down at the table this holiday season, it should be the goal of all stews to take their breath away with extra special table settings. It is our top priority that they leave the table totally satisfied with perfect holiday presentation, food and service.

To accomplish a perfect holiday dining experience make sure to do the following:

  1. Know the guests’ background and research any holiday traditions they may be accustomed to. Let go of traditional holiday ideas and remember this is for them, not us. (But don’t worry; that is what the crew mess is for.)
  2. Liaise with the chef about food style and colors being used on the dishes. There might be an opportunity to compliment the table settings based on the dishes the chef is preparing.
  3. Suggest to the chef that he or she prepare a holiday dish that is traditionally served in whichever country the guests are from. Research the dishes thoroughly. This will be sure to impress.
  4. Plan table decorations ahead of time, choosing elegant pieces that fit the taste of the guests. For ultimate elegance, chose holiday colors as accents and pair with neutral linens. A sprig of rosemary placed on the dinner napkin, for example, adds a special holiday feel. Use the finest cutlery and glasses.
  5. Ahead of time, offer the host any special wine and champagne that is available and compliments the menu. Often, guests forget what is in stock. It shows skill to know what is in stock and that you know how to pair wine and champagne with the food being served.
  6. During coffee and tea service, serve holiday chocolates and holiday sugar cubes.
  7. Play elegant holiday music during service. A great mix is Beegie Adair & David Davidson’s Christmas Elegance or maybe a more classic sounding mix from Michael Buble or Dean Martin.

Planning the place

Setting the perfect holiday dinner table on a superyacht takes a bit of research and creativity. However, if done right, it will impress thoroughly.

Begin by planning and purchasing items in the yacht’s homepor if possible, as there will be more options. Go to places such as Pier One Imports, Bed Bath & Beyond, Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, and

Stick with holiday colors and buy flowers in those colors. Buy or collect natural materials when possible such as candles, pieces of wood, twigs, pinecones, leaves, and cinnamon.

Make sure there is a table runner and/or placemats and napkins that compliment each other. If not, buy some.

To ensure a yacht-quality table, stay away from items that look fake and too festive. To glam up the table, use gold spray-painted items to dot the table as they tend to make the table look pretty. Otherwise, use natural products, high-end linens and neutral colors.

Make sure the linens (table runner, placemats and napkins) are ironed neatly. Silverware and glasses are to be polished.

Create a simple and elegant napkin fold or use a napkin ring if desired.

Make sure all decorations are clean and the tags are taken off.

Lay table runners, placemats and napkins.

Set the table with cutlery and glasses.

Place candles in their places using a variety of heights and sizes.

Place flowers in center of table.

Organize items such as pieces of wood, pinecones, twigs and cinnamon on the runner or placemat in the center of the table.

As an added touch, place a cinnamon stick or other item on top of the napkin or within the napkin ring for a finished look.

Angela Orecchio is a chief stew and certified health coach. This column was edited from her blog, Savvy Stewardess, The Smart Girl’s Guide to Yachting ( Comments are welcome at


About Angela Orecchio

Angela Orecchio is a chief stew and certified health coach. This column was edited from blog, Savvy Stewardess, The Smart Girl’s Guide to Yachting. Contact her through

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